Being the son of a sports legend is not easy. Comparisons arise immediately and there are very few cases of children of famous parents who have been able to live up to expectations or, at least, transcend. Today there are examples, who has not heard of the resemblance between Tiger Woods and his son, his Charlie? Or about Serena Williams’s little girl and her talent when wielding the racket? Going to basketball punctually, there are many cases of children who have traveled the path successfully. Or they are doing it right now. From the most famous, the great Kobe Bryant, who ended up being clearly better than his father Joe, until Gary PaytonII, Glove’s eldest son – that star point guard of the 90s – who stood out in the NBA finals with the Warriors, although without reaching the high level of his father. In total there are 90 families with a father-son duo and, in the cat flaps, there are four more that appear on the horizon, which due to their surnames and talent generate great expectations. Here we are going to meet the children of Shaquille O’Neal, Scottie Pippen (both declared themselves eligible for the 2022 draft), Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Ron Harper. How do they play and what potential do they have for the future?
Until now, in the NBA, there has been something for everyone, including four cases in which two sons reached the NBA, as happened with the Curry (Dad Dell and the boys Steph and Seth), the Paxsons (Jim, Jimmy and John), the Thompsons (Mychal, Klay and Mychel) and the Grants (Harvey, Jerian and Jeremy). And a shocking case in which three reached the world elite, as they were Jon, Brent and Drew Barry, sons of Rick, the eight-time All Star. It all started in 1966, when Matt Guokas Jr made his debut and that was the first time that father and son had minutes in the NBA. Dad had played in the ’40s and they both won a championship. Then there were two more who reached that milestone, Rick and Brent Barry. And finally, Bill and Luke Walton. Currently, Gary Payton II, Devin Booker, Jalen Brunson, Jae Crowder, Tim Hardaway Jr, Austin Rivers, Bol Bol and Darius Garland all have a father who has played in the NBA before.
Several can be added shortly. Two of them were news these days. Scotty Pippen Jr and Shareef O’Neal, sons of two of the (20) best players in history, although we must also add Ron Harper Jr, son of the father with the same name who was an important figure during his first NBA decade ( averaged around 20 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds between 1988 and 1994) and later became an essential complement to MJ and those Bulls of the second tri-championship (96-98).
Scottie Pippen Jr.
The son of the six-time NBA champion was the top scorer in the Southeastern Conference and second scorer in the brave SEC Tournament in his second year, with an average of 20.4 points, being chosen again in the ideal quintet. Five times during the season he scored 30 or more, setting a Vanderbilt University record with 736 points in 36 games. The team, with him as the leader, finished with a 19-17 record and lost in the quarterfinals of the NIT Tournament –second in importance- of the NCAA. He is a 21-year-old point guard of medium height (1m87) who can score (he was above 20 points in the last two campaigns), with good defensive instincts like his father -1.9 steals in 21/22, although he lacks regularity – and some resources in the pass (4.5 assists). Of course, if we remember his father, a versatile forward (2m01), brilliant in defense and with varied resources in attack, Jordan’s great complement, his son doesn’t look much like him. He is shorter, but stands out for his physical strength and ability to score points. He penetrates very well, has good mid-range and takes a lot of fouls – he took 8.3 per game, being the leader in the entire NCAA. He still needs to improve his vision, passing and 3-point shooting -34% in his college career-, but he has a chance of being selected in this Thursday’s draft, especially in the second round.
The eldest son of the great Shaq comes from playing three years in the NCAA, first with UCLA and then with LSU, where his father began to dominate… But, of course, as happens in many cases, comparison with his father is impossible, because he is far from having his physique and talent. He comes from playing little (9 minutes on average) with disposable numbers: 2.9 points and 2.1 rebounds. He is a 2m08, 22-year-old power forward who, when he was in high school, looked very good, but has had injury problems and its progress has stopped. The best thing about him is his mobility and versatility, which allow him to run the floor well and get some blocks. But, of course, to be a big man today, he lacks shooting in every sense (20% on 3s and 47% on free throws) and understanding of the game. It would be surprising if someone selects him for the famous draft in which the Orlando Magic will have No. 1.
Ron Harper Jr.
Ron Harper Sr. was a high-scoring shooting guard in his first six years in the NBA and later, as a veteran, a tall, skilled and intelligent point guard who helped Jordan’s Bulls to their second three-time championship. The son plays in another position. He is a forward, shooting power forward, somewhat short (1m97) who played all four possible seasons in the NCAA, promptly at Rutgers. In 21/22 he averaged 15.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists, with a respectable 40% three-point shooting. His problem is basically physical: he is overweight, not tall and strong enough for the NBA level. But, at the same time, he has a good size and power, capable of scoring in various ways, from the post to the game from the front due to his good shot. In defense he did not give advantages, but we will have to see in what position he can play in the NBA, because as a forward he lacks agility and speed, while as a power forward he lacks size. He is a candidate for a late second-round pick, though he wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t get drafted and must go earn a spot on campus or in summer leagues, starting in September.
The eldest son of the King is 17 years old, he has several years left to have his chance in the NBA, but he shows the talent to be taken into account. Born in Cleveland in 2004, he played football and basketball only because his father forbade him to try American football and ice hockey for safety reasons. At 13 he definitely opted for the sport that his father ruled for years. He began his career at Crossroads High School in Santa Monica and, in mid-2019, transferred to the famous Sierra Canyon High School (in Chatsworth, California), where top prospects like the Collins brothers, Marvin Bagley and Cassius Stanley go every year. . For these years it is not the exception and the talent is so much that Bronny is not even the jewel of the team today. In this last season, in which the team went 24-4, it was Amari Bailey, who has already committed to play at UCLA.
Bronny is a 1m90 point guard who had ups and downs last season, with some very good games and others weak. He averaged 7.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Not impressive numbers. Of course, he is still young and has one more year of high school left. It is not yet clear where he will go next, although there are reports that five top universities are interested in him: Duke, Kansas, Kentucky -the only one that officially offered him a scholarship-, UCLA and North Carolina. Nor should it be ruled out that he takes another direction since in recent years it has been seen how important prospects have played abroad or in the G-League.
LeBron shocked everyone last February when he said he was going to play his senior year with his son. “Wherever Bronny is, there I will be. I will do anything to play a year with my son, ”she declared. Junior James could participate in the draft only in 2024, if the rules that the minimum age of entry is 19 years are maintained. LeBron will be an unrestricted free agent in 2023 and there he will be able to define, without ties, where he will meet Bronny, seeing the level of his son and the options.
The son of Dwyane, legendary star of the Heat and nephew of LeBron, is 20 years old, measures 1m90 and plays point guard. He shared a year with Bronny in Sierra Canyon and since he did not have great offers from universities, he decided to play in the G-League, the development league in the NBA. He signed with the Salt Lake City Stars, the affiliate of the Utah Jazz, after being selected 10th in the tournament draft. Sure, it wasn’t surprising because his father is a minority owner of the Jazz. But Zaire’s professional career has not started in the best way. In the season he played only 12 of the 32 team games, averaging 19 minutes, 1.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists. All despite the fact that the team finished last in their conference. Wade, who looked like a better prospect a few years ago, needs to improve in order to aspire to be considered in the NBA draft, from 2023, when it will be eligible. Or else try your way up from the summer leagues, where franchises try out players to fill out their rosters of 15.
These are five prospects, but they are not the only ones. Kiyan Anthony, Carmelo’s son, is 15, 1m88 tall and looks good. He announced that he will play at Christ the King High School in Queens, NY. Of course, they all face the same thing: being the children of legends and being constantly compared to their parents, in addition to the difficulty of reaching very few…
From parents to children
Seth Curry (Nets) and Stephen Curry (Warriors)
Dell Curry he was the Best Sixth Man in 1994 and an outstanding shooter between the 80s and 90s. Today he is a TV analyst for the Hornets.
Klay Thompson (Warriors)
Michael Thompson He was the No. 1 pick in the 1978 draft and a two-time champion with Magic Johnson’s Lakers.
Gary Payton II (Warriors)
Son of that famous Sonics point guard who was champion with Miami and reached the Hall of Fame after nine All Star elections and the ideal defensive quintet for one season
Andrew Wiggins (Warriors)
Mitchell Wiggins was a shooting guard who played for the Bulls, Rockets, and 76ers during a six-season career.
Domantas Sabonis (Kings)
son of the great Arvydas, that 2m22 Lithuanian pivot who shone in Europe before reaching the NBA. He averaged 12.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in seven seasons with the Blazers, but he made his mark by playing differently from him.
Doc Rivers, current 76ers coach, was an important point guard for 13 years in the NBA.
Justise Winslow (Clippers)
ricky he played just seven games for the Bucks during the 1987-88 season.
Gary Trent Jr. (Raptors)
Gary father, a strong and powerful power forward, was chosen in the No. 1 place of the 1995 draft and played 9 years in the NBA
Al Horford (Celtics)
titus, Dominican, played 63 games in three seasons, especially in the Bucks. He was the first Dominican and one of the first Latinos to play in the NBA. A pivot of 2m16.
Jaren Jackson Jr. (Grizzlies)
Jaren Jackson Sr. won a title with the Spurs, in 1999
Ed Davis (Cavaliers)
Pope, Terry Davis, played for the Heat, Mavericks, Wizards, and Nuggets for 10 seasons total
Darius Garland (Cavaliers)
Winston He was a point guard who went through the Warriors, Clippers, Nuggets, Rockets and Timberwolves.
Jerami Grant (Pistons)
Harvey Grant was a power forward who played in the 80s, for 11 seasons: Wizards, Trail Blazers and 76ers.
Tim Hardaway Jr. (Mavericks)
Son of an 80’s star like Tim Hardaway Sr. very offensive point guard who left his mark and was chosen five times for the All Star and another five for the NBA quintets.
Cole Anthony (Magic)
greg anthony He was a strong defensive point guard who played in the 90s: Knicks, Grizzlies, SuperSonics, Trail Blazers, Bulls and Bucks (11 seasons).
Bol Bol (Magic)
son of the great Manutethat 2m31 Sudanese pivot who was the leader in blocks in the 1985-86 and 1988-89 seasons.
Devin Booker (Suns)
Melvin he played just 32 games in two seasons.
Jalen Brunson (Mavericks)
Rick he played for the Trail Blazers, Knicks, Celtics, Bulls, Raptors, Clippers, SuperSonics and Rockets for nine seasons.
Richard he played for the Timberwolves in the 1990-91 season.
Nicholas Claxton (Nets)
Charles he only entered three games for the 1995-96 Celtics.
Jae Crowder (Suns)
Corey Crowder played 58 games in two seasons (Jazz and Spurs).
Luke Kornet (Celtics)
Frank he played 89 games for the Bucks between 1989 and 1991.
Kevin Love (Cavaliers)
Stan Love appeared in 227 games in four seasons, in addition to 12 in the ABA.
Kenyon Martin Jr. (Rockets)
Kenyon Martin Sr. was the No. 1 pick in the 2000 draft. A versatile power forward who was a one-time All Star pick and enjoyed a 15-year NBA career.
Wesley Matthews (Bucks)
Wes he won two titles with the Lakers in 1987 and 1988. He played nine seasons.
Larry Nance Jr (Pelicans)
Larry Nance Sr. he was a very good power forward in the 80s, with great power and jumping. He reached three All-Stars and three times he was in the defensive quintet.
He trained with Milanesio, has Campazzo as a mirror and his nickname is a family tradition: the story of Franco Baralle, the point guard of the future